The Electric

The Electric The Electric Was A Terrific Read Absorbing, Resonant, Emotionally Satisfying And Quite Magical Stephen Volk Eloquent, Shimmering Writing Unfurls A Haunting Story Of Childhood, Grief And Obsession Simon Clark I Adored Every Line I Can T Recommend It Highly Enough Book Of The Year The Eloquent Page The Electric Is An Impressive First Novel Andrew David Barker S Style Is Whimsical And Nostalgic, And The Work Reads Like The Haziest Recollections Of A Childhood Long Since Gone Starburst Magazine The Electric Is Than A Book Just As Its Namesake Is Than A Cinema It S An Experience To Dive Into And Wallow In It S A Link To The Past And A Way To Think About What S Really Important About Life Its Heart Beats Beautiful Pulses Of Nostalgia And Grief, But It Is Full Of Affirmation Too The Joy Of Discovery The Value Of Insight The Depths Of Friendship, Love And Family Ties, And The Powerful Cement Of A Shared Experience Geek SyndicateIn The Summer Of , Fifteen Year Old Sam Crowhurst Discovers An Old Abandoned Cinema That Screens Movies Made By Ghosts, For Ghosts Sam, Along With His Friends, Emma And David, Find Themselves Drawn Into A World Where The Likes Of Humphrey Bogart, Lon Chaney And Theda Bara Are Still Making Pictures Where Harold Lloyd And John Belushi Team Up For Roustabout Comedies, And Karloff And Lugosi Appear In Films Scripted By Edgar Allan Poe Sam Comes To Learn The Mysteries Of The Electric Cinema And His Part To Play In Its Long And Strange History With Shades Of Ray Bradbury, The Nostalgic Work Of Stephen King, And The Early Films Of Steven Spielberg, THE ELECTRIC Is About Movies, Ghosts, And That Ephemeral Moment In All Of Our Lives, Childhood

Andrew David Barker is an author and filmmaker Born in Derby, England in 1975, Barker has had pretty much every job going He has worked as a window fitter, a rail track worker, a factory worker, a carpet salesman, a car cleaner, a delivery driver, a bricklayer s labourer, a shop assistant, and a care worker, among others None of them stuck In the late 90s he played lead guitar in a rock band.

➳ The Electric  Read ➻ Author Andrew David Barker –
  • Paperback
  • The Electric
  • Andrew David Barker
  • 10 December 2018

10 thoughts on “The Electric

  1. says:

    You probably wouldn t suspect it to look at me, but I m actually a raging, unabashed sentimentalist at heart If you walked passed me in the street the perma scowl on my hairy Neanderthal esque face would give you absolutely no inkling of the huge, soft pussycat of a man that hides within Why the self deprecating admission to begin this review A couple of reasons really Firstly, to confirm that looks can be deceptive, and secondly, and probably importantly in this case, that my sentimental nature makes me the perfect audience for the debut novel from Andrew David Barker.Things get off to a suitably creepy, yet subtle, start Within just a handful of sentences I realised that The Electric was going to be something a bit special the evening I discovered the Electric, I was alone, and that old abandoned building seemed to know it The plot follows a teenager called Sam Crowhurst as he travels that difficult road between the child he is and the man that he is destined to be Sam acts as the narrator of his own story as he recalls the events of his fifteenth year He is on the cusp of adulthood and the narrative explores the emotions and chaos that rule that often turbulent time in anyone s life Though young Sam has experienced his fair share of loss and this has left its mark He hasn t quite managed to come to terms with how he feels and that lack of resolution continues to hold sway A chance encounter leads Sam to The Electric and inadvertently towards making peace with the ghost that haunts his life.Barker has the most delicate of touches with his writing, especially when it comes to capturing those bittersweet, emotive moments I don t doubt for a second that many readers will be able to empathise with all of the themes that are touched up Initially the spirits that haunt The Electric have an ephemeral quality and there is also a sense of sadness, of longing, that permeates their every action As Sam and his friends learn of the building s colourful history the ghosts become tangible and start to communicate.I remember reading years ago, in Necroscope by Brian Lumley if memory serves, the idea that the dead continue to do whatever they did best while they were living painters paint, sculptors sculpt etc I ve always relished that particular thought There is a similar premise at work here Those unfortunates who have passed over don t let anything as trivial as death stop them from continuing to do what they love The actors act, the directors direct and the writers can t help but write All those stars that have long since gone, or have died too young, still ply their trade in films created for a very specific audience Any movie fan is going to get a kick out of the plethora of Hollywood references scattered throughout the narrative, everyone from Harold Lloyd to John Belushi and Humphrey Bogart get a mention.The Electric manages to defy categorisation lying somewhere between horror, fantasy and modern day fairy tale Barker has crafted a wonderful story that picks apart the tragedy of loss and the slow process of acceptance I was reminded of classic early fiction of Stephen King, there is definitely a similar tone to the likes of Stand by Me, or IT Hauntingly nostalgic and beautifully evocative, the plot really plucks at the old heartstrings, but never in an overly schmaltzy saccharin sweet wayI ll be honest, and you may have spotted this already, I could wax lyrical about The Electric all day I love reading and I love cinema, finding a book that manages to encapsulate and merge together my two greatest passions is a genuine delight I m always pleased when fiction ignites that kind of fire in my belly Deep down inside, in the dark recesses of my psyche, it feels as though The Electric has been written just for me and no one else It s that rarest of beasts, a blissful treat that I know I am going to revisit again and again There is no better feeling when you connect with fiction on that near sub atomic level Put simply, I loved The Electric This is without a doubt one of my favourite reads so far this year I knew nothing about the book or the author before I started reading but decided to take a chance, and I m so very glad that I did.

  2. says:

    A great read nostalgic, romantic and well paced The relationships between the youngsters is real and raw, yet, in parts, tender.The main draw is the ghosts but the story is carried by the children, especially the protagonist, Sam The tale weaves and dances around and fits the autumn backdrop perfectly the fading sun proving a great metaphor for how childhood slips away.If you like Herbert, King, Bradbury, then this is for you.

  3. says:

    Earlier this year I met up with Alex Davis, the publisher and editor of Boo Books, at a comic fair in Sheffield During our chat he mentioned a book that was going to be published by his press in the near future, which was about a cinema showing films for ghosts made by ghosts I must say I was intrigued by the premise and looked forward to the day I could get my hands on a copy That day came last Saturday, and believe me when I say it was worth the wait The story plays out over the last week weekend of the school summer holidays in 1985, and starts with the lead character Sam Crowhurst cycling by the river after saying goodbye to his friends David and Emma Sam is still getting over the death of his father, as is his mother, which is why he is in no rush to get home While meandering by the river Sam comes across an old shack with a bit of an old movie poster in it The shack leads to a path which leads inevitably, to The Electric, an abandoned cinema Though it is deserted and nigh on derelict Sam feels drawn to it and sets off to explore What he, and his friends when he fetches them to see it the next day, will find at The Electric will change them all I can t say too much about the plot as it may well spoil the reading experience of this quite wonderful book, but the general gist is that there are ghosts in The Electric and they are watching films that were never made, starring actors from different eras of cinema There is a magic on the screen but also, there is a magic here in the printed word The Electric is, at heart, a ghost story, but chilling than horror in style It is also, though, a coming of age tale The three lead characters are all fifteen years old, approaching the last year of school and on the threshold between childhood and adulthood Two of them have lost a parent so their is grief and sorrow thrown into the mix of teenage emotions I thought I had the general idea of where the story was going to end up but I m not ashamed to say I was only partly right There were two scenes at the end that I honestly believe will stay with me for a very long time, and one sentence that actually brought tears to my eyes On this showing, Andrew David Barker is one to watch for the future, an author with a writing style that draws you into the book and into the story knowing you are in safe hands but not sure what will be round the next corner The book reviewed is a limited edition hardback 98 150 but is also available as a kindle edition I bought the copy myself so feel justified in giving it 10 10 for both the story and the physical book itself Andrew David Barker and Boo Books Alex Davis remember those names, you ll be hearing from both of them in the future.

  4. says:

    A supernatural coming of age story, shot through with the author s evident love of the cinema, this something a bit different Wonderful characterisation, and it genuinely captures the feeling of being a teenager And, like all the best movies, a bit of a tear jerker as well Recommended.

  5. says:

    Evokes a time and a haunting place I listened to the audiobook and I thought the narrator was particularly good with dialogue and the teen characters s voices, excellent in reading description and creepy narrative.The premise of a haunted cinema, a film that was never made and a group of teen friends in the 1980s hooked me and delivered the mix of nostalgia and coming of age that I was hoping for The teen relationships rang true, especially the boys embarrassment and self consciousness at Emma s precocious teasing a timely reminder that growing up is no easier for boys than for girls.The places linger in my imagination although I finished listening two weeks ago the Car Cemetery, where the kids hang out in wrecked vehicles, and the derelict cinema were vividly brought to life and every place felt real to me I also found the ending well conceived,a haunting conclusion There was much to love but I sometimes grew irritated by the slow pace, the repetition, and being told every single emotion felt by the characters at all times.Also, the period detail came from lists and names, which worked for me as I knew most of them but context and fewer names, whether of e.g song hits or film stars, would have been better.

  6. says:

    The end of Summer.This was an unusual narrative, a mixture between the adventures of teenagers in an age now past, first love, discovery of an old building, films from the black and white era and the paranormal As with most of the books I ve reviewed recently, this was in audiobook format, but with a difference Headed up by the actor Nigel Peever, this also encompassed music and sound effects, which gave it a cinematic feel, probably quite different form the experience of reading the original book.David, Emma and Sam the narrator , are passing time towards the end of the long summer holidays of 1985 Sam stumbles across an old movie theatre, The Electric, hidden amongst undergrowth and off the beaten path It is spooky and he has a strange reaction to it, but he can t wait to share his discovery with his friends Emma feels the strangeness of the place immediately, but it takes David a while before he is drawn in Together they discover the history of the place, why it was built, who watched and what was shown.I really enjoyed this novel but there were a few things that irritated me Not being a film buff, I thought there was too much description of the films and this would probably have bothered me even if I d been reading In addition, while I loved the sound effects, I did think the background rain or traffic might have been faded out to leave us with the narrative, instead of drumming on in the background.The story had a personal element too Sam s Dad had died and he was living with his mother, while Emma had also lost her mother and was living with her father Their grief is still raw and comes to the surface during the narrative This grounds the otherwise somewhat fantastical element of the story.If you re into old films and don t mind a bit of fantasy, then this could be your next summer read.

  7. says:

    Andrew David Barker s novel The Electric isn t really a horror story It has ghosts, to be sure, but if you re looking for creepy, chilling frights, look elsewhere but only after you ve read The Electric This is an extraordinary book, a beautiful tale of loss, of teenage alienation and filmmaking and what it means to not just create art, but to want to create art An urge that sets the drawing hand to shaking and lights the imagination on fire.As enjoyable as it is, The Electric doesn t lack flaws Awkward phrasing and run on sentences created some stumbling blocks at times, I found myself having to re read certain passages to divine their meaning My other concern was the complete lack of an antagonist Whenever one threatens to thwart protagonist Sam Crowhurst, it fades away quickly as a non event This presented a feeling of safety in the text, an assurance of inevitability that everything would indeed play out as required, and hence eliminated the necessary dramatic element of tension.Despite this, the novel is a book to be drawn into, one that keeps you turning the pages The love triangle of Emma, Sam, and David was realistically drawn with the ins and outs of young teenage infatuation Sam s loss of his father and subsequent alienation from his mother in the wake of terrible grief also strikes home, very keenly These are real people, all of them, including Mean Stare Mandrake.Barker s love of celluloid animates the text, giving what might have been a ho hum haunting element true depth and character His knowledge of Bogie s films, of Jean Harlow and Peter Lorre and other classic film greats is breathtaking in that he doesn t just describe how they were, but shows you what they might be and do and think after they ve gone.Emotional without being maudlin, The Electric gives us glimpses of the world beyond death, and some of death s landscape is quite disturbing Some spirits rest and some don t, and the ones who don t might show up in a dilapidated cinema one day If you re not lucky enough to stumble upon one in your daily travels, read The Electric instead You ll be glad you did Review originally published at Ginger Nuts of Horror

  8. says:

    It s fair to say that this book is full of mystery magic from the very start The biggest mystery as how this can only be the author s second book His technique style is so polished, you d think he d been doing it for years The magic first comes in the evocative setting highly reminiscent of my own childhood growing up in that era, the halcyon days of running around in fields seeking adventure without 24 7 media warning us of the dangers out there The characters are instantly identifiable with, kids you might have known from school, just known much about The other magic is the pure depth of the narrative, how someone of a young age deals with grief, the experience of the heart s first flutter, the fear of bullying non conformity subject matters that we can perhaps all associate with from that time of life The supernatural element is sublime, purely because it s not over the top This isn t another write by formula solution where said protagonist has to save the world, it s the wistfulness of wanting those epic, timeless films their stars to have kept going beyond their recognised body of work It s a joy to read and took me less than a week from e cover to cover I highly recommend this to anyone at all, as I feel everyone can get something they ll appreciate from this Watch out for Andrew Barker, this man is going to go far

  9. says:

    By chance I was at a craft fair and my stall was opposite a nice chap selling books an unusual and great addition to a craft fair He spoke to a few people about The Electric, so I picked it up, got home and pretty much ate it.As a coming of age type tale, it hits some emotional punches, although it has some cliches in there, they exist because they are what teenagers go through There s awkward first love, falling out a bit as you realise you and your best mate may not be that similar, losing a parent, being distant form your surviving parent, and also, of course discovering strange things in an abandoned cinema Written first person, the touching parts are where the narrative has been written after the fact, so the narrator can comment on how they later realised what was going on, or how their feelings about the situation later changed It has a poignant nostalgia, because the narrator is reflecting and commenting on his own nostalgia You see how, in the future, the lead character has grown up, as he reflects back Hope to see of Andrew s work on the future

  10. says:

    Wow This is the kind of book to make me pity those folks who seem to think never having read a book is something to brag about The author perfectly captures the potential inherent in the six weeks of freedom that a mid 1980 s summer holiday provided The nostalgia for that period of my own childhood sucked me in but it was the characters of Sam and Emma that kept me reading Everything about this book is wonderfully done, pitch perfect in its depiction of childhood, love and loss without ever sliding into over sentimentality The author s love of cinema bleeds from the page and the brilliant premise allows him, and the reader, to have a hell of a lot of fun with the made up movies Highly recommended, but be sure to have a tissue or two at the ready.

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